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Last Updated: Friday, 27 October 2006, 16:39 GMT 17:39 UK
Iraqis 'beaten over nicknames'
Baha Mousa
Hotel receptionist Baha Mousa died in custody in 2003
Detained Iraqi civilians were beaten if they could not remember nicknames of famous footballers given to them by UK soldiers, a court martial has heard.

Iraqi civilian Kifah Taha Musa Mutairi said the names included Dutch stars Gullit and Van Basten.

Cpl Donald Payne has already admitted the war crime of inhumanely treating civilian detainees in southern Iraq.

He and six others deny other charges relating to the alleged abuse in 2003.

Seven soldiers are charged with treating civilians inhumanely and manslaughter.

The charges faced by the seven soldiers at the Military Court Centre, Bulford Camp, Wiltshire, also relate to the death of Baha Mousa, 26, in custody in Basra.

If we were not able to recite our respective nickname we would be kicked and beaten
Statement of Kifah Taha Musa Mutairi

Mr Mousa, a hotel receptionist, was among a group of detainees arrested following a counter-insurgency operation in September 2003.

The written statement of Mr Mutairi, who was killed in a separate incident some time after the alleged abuse, said that, if the detainees fell asleep, the soldiers would wake them up and ask them for their nickname.

"If we were not able to recite our respective nickname we would be kicked and beaten," his statement said.

Of the 11 Iraqi men alleged to have been hooded, deprived of sleep and beaten at the British detention centre in Basra, the dead man - Mr Mousa - had suffered the most, Mr Mutairi's statement said.

"He was constantly crying out with pain during his beatings," it said.

"I believe that he was beaten more because he cried out in pain. The rest of the group suffered pretty much the same."

'No morals'

Petrol was rubbed under his nose, water poured over his head and an ignited lighter placed close to his face as he was told in English, "I'm going to burn you", Mr Mutairi said.

Cpl Donald Payne - manslaughter, inhumane treatment of persons, perverting the course of justice
L/Cpl Wayne Crowcroft - inhumane treatment of persons
Pte Darren Fallon - inhumane treatment of persons
Sgt Kelvin Stacey - actual bodily harm, alternatively assault
Warrant Officer Mark Davies - negligently performing a duty
Maj Michael Peebles - negligently performing a duty
Col Jorge Mendonca - negligently performing a duty

Last month, Cpl Payne, 35, of the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, became the first British soldier to admit to a war crime after pleading guilty to the inhumane treatment charge.

He denies further charges of perverting the course of justice and manslaughter. L/Cpl Wayne Crowcroft, 22, and Pte Darren Fallon, 23 - both also of the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment - deny the charge of inhumane treatment.

Sgt Kelvin Stacey, 29, of the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, is accused of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, with an alternative count of common assault.

Maj Michael Peebles, 35, and Warrant Officer Mark Davies, 37, both of the Intelligence Corps, face charges of negligently performing a duty.

And Col Jorge Mendonca, 42, formerly commander of the Queen's Lancashire Regiment - is now the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment - is charged with negligently performing his duties.

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